Ralph Warren CaspoleCaptain
MARINE ATTACK SQUADRON 223 (BULLDOGS), MAG-12, 1ST MAW
United States Marine Corps
21 March 1933 - 03 June 1966
Panel 08E Line 001
The database page for Ralph Warren Caspole
Warren was assigned to Marine One and flew John F. Kennedy from Otis AFB to Hyannis many times 1960 to 1963.
He married Catherine Pendleton of Roanoke, Virginia in 1964.
He was assigned to Marine Attack Squadron 223 (aka the Bulldogs). In December 1965, the Bulldogs deployed to Chu Lai, South Vietnam with the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing for combat operations. Ralph flew the Douglas A-4B Skyhawk.
He had served for 12 years when he was killed in Pleiku, South Vietnam by hostile ground fire.
His name can be found on Panel 08E - Line 1 of the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial - "The Wall". He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in July 1966 near the Tomb of the Unkown Soldier.
From his nephew,
A Note from The Virtual WallThe VMA-223 Command Chronology for June 1966 contains the following entry:
Regretably, the entry does not include any location information - nor does any other available record of the loss except Hobson's Vietnam Air Losses which says
"Capt Caspole was leading a two-aircraft section on a strike mission against a VC assembly area two miles south of Gia An, about 55 miles south of Chu Lai. After dropping their napalm the two aircraft made several strafing runs and as Capt Caspole was pulling up from his seventh pass his aircraft was hit by automatic weapons, caught fire, and crashed immediately."The casualty database says that Captain Caspole went down in Pleiku Province, and that may be so - but there is no known "Gia An" in Pleiku Province.
Many Vietnamese cities and villages are known by two names, and the town of Tam Quan, located on Highway QL-1 in Binh Dinh Province, is also known as "Gia An" ... and it lies 50 nautical miles south-southeast of Chu Lai. While The Virtual Wall cannot prove it so, it seems likely that the loss was in the vicinity of Tam Quan.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 11 Nov 2007
Last updated 11/14/2007